Last Week- 2-2
Prediction: Bengals 20, Jets 13. Actual Score- Jets 24, Bengals 14. I thought the Bengals went to sleep on purpose in Week 17, but they apparently went into hibernation until next year.
Prediction: Cowboys 27, Eagles 17. Actual Score- Cowboys 34, Eagles 14. Was close and predicted a rather easy Cowboys victory.
Prediction: Ravens 23, Patriots 17- Actual Score- Ravens 33, Patriots 14. I thought the Ravens could win with the run game and they did with the first play. The Patriots looked very old and senile without Wes Welker.
Prediction: Packers 30, Cardinals 21. Actual Score- Cardinals 51, Packers 45. This wild west shootout ended in dramatic fashion. Too bad fans will forget because of all the missed penalties on both sides of the ball.
Now for the Divisional Round:
Cardinals @ Saints (-7)
A rather surprising spread favoring the Saints who are a three game skid ever since talking about going undefeated. Drew Brees is a true leader, though, and will have his team refocused on the ultimate prize. The Saints defense will have to play the way it did early in the season when they were making big plays.
Anquon Boldin is questionable but it's uncertain how big a factor that is after the way Early Doucet played last week. Of course, that's an exaggeration, they need Boldin in every game. Kurt Warner played at a level rarely seen in any game last week and it is impossible for him to do the same against the Saints. The Cardinals could get an early lead, but the Saints have proved several time during the season they can overcome big leads.
A key match up to look for is Jeremy Shockey versus the Cardinals linebackers. Coach Payton will find ways for mismatches and Shockey will be the guy for them.
My Prediction: This will be another shoot out, but not as bad as last week's game. There will actually be some defense in this one. Saints 35, Cardinals 31.
Ravens @ Colts (-6)
It will be interesting how the Colts fans treat their home team after they had to watch one of the worst decisions in any sport, in my opinion. If there is any team that deserves to lose, it's the Colts. They have a histroy of losing playoff games when they rest players. They not only rested their players this year, they quit on making history in Week 16 by killing their own undefeated season, and then came back the next week and made sure their key players made receptions for history. A still angry crowd could deflate the Colts.
Ray Rice had a huge week last week against the Patriots. The Colts will have to contain him and make Joe Flacco make plays against them.
The key match up will be LT Jared Gaither versus Dwight Freeney. Freeney looked like a man against boys against the Jets in the first half of the forfeited game. Gaither will have to help make Flacco comfortable. The Colts will key on the run and Flacco will need time to make the plays to win the game.
My Prediction: The Colts will not be greeted well from the start, but a score or two will win back their fans. The Ravens will play this close, but will fade in the second half. Colts 31, Ravens 17.
Cowboys @ Vikings (-2.5)
Brett Favre will finally get hs chance to prove he was the right man for the job. His recent post season past does not help him. There are many worthless stats in this game with Favre 0-3 vs Cowboys in playoffs and the Cowboys last road playoff win was in 1992 being the most talked about. That was the past and these are two very different teams.
Adrian Peterson will have to come out of his shell and get 100 plus yards for the Vikings to win. Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins have played very well lately and should be able to limit Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin from making big plays.
The key match ups will be for both QBs. The Vikings LT Bryant McKinnie will have to keep DeMarcus Ware off of Favre for success, and the Cowboys LT Flozell Adams will have to contain Jared Allen so the red hot Tony Romo isn't pressured into mistakes.
My Prediction: I think both teams will limit the RBs and it will be up to the QBs to win the game. Favre could revert to the guy who forces plays to win. Ware and Anthony Spencer will put the pressure on and Favre will once again, turn the ball over too many times. Cowboys 24, Vikings 17.
Jets @ Chargers (-7)
This game looks like a blow out in the making but the Jets are the team that won't go away. The Jets will have to control the ball to win this game, and again, have their running game will have to help prevent this game by putting it on Mark Sanchez's shoulders.
Expect Darrelle Revis to lock down Vincent Jackson. Malcom Floyd has done well all season and Antonio Gates and other WRs give Philip Rivers big targets to throw to. LaDainian Tomlinson has been injured the last few playoffs so it will be interesting to see how he does during the game.
My Prediction: I just think the Chargers outmatch the Jets and will be able to move the ball a lot better than the Jets with their veteran QB. Chargers 27, Jets 13.